This elegant Alpine country is no doubt one of the hot favorite tourist destinations in the world. With the spread lush lands, sleek modern towns, snow-clad mountains, and several adventures, the attractions in Switzerland amidst fresh air promise you to fill your vacation with joy and pride. They are varied and so you can expect all kinds of fun and exploration right from shopping to folk amusement. And yes, let me tell you that the country is more famous for skiing and hiking. So, on your trip, include at least one such destination where you can do so.
I first explored the largest city of Switzerland named ZÜRICH that is on the Lake Zürichsee located on the banks of the Limmat River in the northeast of Switzerland. One of the scenic attractions in Switzerland here is the old part called the Altstadt. The best way to explore this area is via a stroll where you will also come across the Gothic Basilica Fraumünster (11th to 13th century), its three naves, and the stunning stained-glass windows. Other main attractions are the Grossmünster with its twin towers across the river, the stunning Town Hall as a superb example from the late Renaissance (17th century), the Swiss National Museum, and the Kunsthaus Zürich with the modern art exhibits. If you are a cultural fan, the city offers many cultural programs, especially the plays at the Zürcher Schauspielhaus that is among the most admirable German-speaking theaters.
From Zürich, you can also take up excursions too. As the city is in the Mittelland (‘middle country’) that is a verdant and scenic area sprinkled with historic towns and hamlets, local trains and buses are the best ways to explore its surrounding hills, woods, hamlets, and parks. In summers, the steamer cruises on the lake are recommended for a tour or a day-trip to the Uetliberg hill to the southeast is just fine. If you are lucky enough to have a clear day, from the hill, you can have a bird’s eye view of Zurich, the Valais and Berner Alps to the west, and the Black Forest to the east. One more excursion that is famous is to explore the medieval castle at Rapperswil on the bank of the lake.
I also explored the ancient university and the trading city of BASLE (Basel). The city is a hub of art and research and it spans the Rhine between the Jura, Alsace in France, and Black Forest. The most interesting attraction of Switzerland is offered here – Basler Fasnacht (a pre-Lenten carnival) of three days where the tourists are expected to participate in its masked parties and street parades carried in fancy costumes. During this time, you just cannot take up any other activity. Other attractions here are the Fasnacht Fountain in front of the theater, the Art Museum where the exhibits varies from Cranach and Holbein through Rembrandt to Monet, Picasso, and Max Ernst, and the ancient red sandstone cathedral or Münster in the old city downtown (9th to 13th century) with its tower offering some interesting views of the city.
Other places of interests are the Spalentor (1370) that are among the original city wall’s three surviving towers and the Church of St Peter (15th century). Out of the town, the mountain routes take you twistingly up to the Jura mountains where cross-country skiing is famous in winters. From Basle, you can consider visiting the scenic Solothurn where the Renaissance and Baroque styles dominate the town or day trips to Aarau, Baden, and the 13th century castle at Binningen.
GENEVA, a famous city, is located on the outlet of Lake Geneva at the southern base of the Jura mountains. Besides its superb natural surroundings, Geneva’s popularity is also because of the existence of the international organizations like United Nations and the International Red Cross. You can find chic shops, restaurants, superb museums, and art galleries along with a myriad of cultural activities. Visit the old city center via walking, explore one of the superb examples of Romanesque architecture in the form of Cathedral de St Pierre, and wonder at the flower clock boasting more than 6,500 blooms besides the lake tributing the watch industry. On the lake, take an exciting boat trip where the sailing boats make the entire area very lively. Further, a crisp breeze called the bise (kiss) can be felt here and that you can expect all water sports, golf, and riding. As a traditional European hub for health and healing, the city preserves its sanatoria like the Clinique Générale Beaulieu.
The city is also the land of many ski resorts. Portes du Soleil that is a group of small resorts is simply the best resort for families offering ideal skiing for all levels on the French-Swiss border. Other main Swiss resorts are the wonderful traditional village of Champéry and the serene mini sites of Champoussin and Les Crosets. These all form some of the most visited attractions in Switzerland.